Election postponement: We’re greatly disappointed in INEC ― SDP

THE National Working Committee (NWC) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Sunday, said it was greatly disappointed at the unpreparedness admitted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the botched Presidential election, urging the commission to ensure that the sensitive electoral material already released were not used by unscrupulous persons who might wish to steal the mandate of its teeming electorates.

In a statement personally signed by the factional Chairman of the party, Chief Supo Shonibare, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, the NEC urged INEC not to allow itself to be manipulated by such unpatriotic elements or collaborate with any group, no matter how highly placed, to destroy the integrity of the postponed elections.

It said the seemingly wanton and arbitrary postponement was truly mind-numbing to most Nigerians in the light of the privations they have had to go through to prepare for the election.

According to NEC, many schools had to close down temporarily; many employers had to give their staff time off; several offices have suffered loss of revenue; and many have traveled long distance, both locally and internationally.

“The effect of the cancellation and postponement of the election is that the miseries of the electorate will be increased and compounded. We in SDP do agree that our democracy is worth fighting and sacrificing for. Nevertheless, our sacrifices should not be trifled with, rendered meaningless or made to appear childish.” The NEC added.

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It then asked the electorate not to allow themselves to be discouraged or disenfranchised by the shenanigans of any group.

“We have very little option than to accept the apology of the INEC Chairman & trust the challenges he has identified will have been rectified by Thursday, so that he can give assurances by that date of the preparedness of INEC to conduct a Nationwide election on Saturday, February 23.” Said the NEC

It, therefore, condemned the attacks on INEC offices and the destruction of the commission’s electoral materials in areas that were the stronghold of the main, consensus, opposition Presidential Candidate.

“The APC was very vocal four years ago in its claim that postponements (at least, at that time, not within a very few hours to the start of the poll) were orchestrated to assist the then ruling party.

“It appears that the APC has very concrete plans to put their thoughts four years ago into action to subvert the strong opposition challenge of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. We have very strong suspicions that this postponement is a carefully conceived and hatched plan to deplete the logistical resources of the opposition in order to aid the electoral fortunes of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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